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Hardball With Chris Matthews

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Christine O'donnell 9, Obama 7, Karl Rove 7, Boehner 6, Us 5, Israel 5, Nate 5, Romney 5, Vincent 5, Sarah Palin 5, Newt Gingrich 4, New York 4, Palin 3, Massachusetts 3, Damascus 3, Washington 3, Alaska 3, Limbaugh 3, Johnson 3, Charlie 3,
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  MSNBC    Hardball With Chris Matthews    News/Business.  (2010)  (CC)  

    September 17, 2010
    12:00 - 1:00am EDT  

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angry, angry smell oh vision. lí9n5z it's teatime so who is the maddest hatter of them all? let's play "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews up in new york leading off tonight, boiling hot tea. the fire on the right that consume mike castle and threatens democrats in the fall is now beginning to burn republican bridges. in the last two days mike castle blamed his loss on lies by shawn hannity and rush limbaugh. karl rove dismissed christine o'donnell as a loser. sarah palin and rush went after rove. the tea party has a seat at the republican table. but the knives are out. and make no mistake, if this new band of republicans get -- grabs
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control of congress, they'll force another government shutdown and probe the obama white house to death. that's their goal. they've said it. launch a relentless campaign to kill government and take down this president. and it's certainly going to happen if democratic voters stay home this november. but what if democrats close the enthusiasm gap between now and then? there are two polls out actually some upbeat news for democrats if they can get their people to the voting booths. remember, that ven yom by newt gingrich by president obama having a anti-colonial world view? i wouldn't you to know what the moderate republicans are saying. when are they going to say enough of this race baiting nonsense? they haven't asked yes. we'll ask one tonight whether he's willing to defend the tribal talk -- tribal talk or stifle it. and christine o'donnell gets some advice on handling the media from sarah palin. that's of course in "the sideshow" tonight. let's start with the fire on the right. mark halpern is a senior analyst and "time" magazine cover this
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week is "it's tea party time." and josh marshal of the much -- well, highly distinguished talking points memo. thank you for joining us. you're sitting right here. don't pretend i'm not here. karl rove, rush limbaugh and sarah palin played out the republican party split over christine o'donnell. let's see it. it's all come to a head so soon. it's only september. and look at the sparks fly. it started with rove's skepticism you might call it towards the victory by christine o'donnell tuesday night. let's listen to this strange fight. >> there's a lot of nutty things that she's been saying that simply doesn't add up to it. >> everybody that i know that saw this was just -- they were perplexed, couldn't figure, what's going on? why is he so mad at a republican? >> some these good ole'e boys and i have nothing against karl rove personally. you know, he's the expert. but some of the folks are saying that people like christine o'donnell and others, tea party
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americans can't win because they don't want them to win. >> i endorsed her the other night. i said i'm a republican in each and every case. i was one of the first to do it, and look i'm also helping her. i've gotten so many people e-mailing me, written me, i'm so irritated with what you've said the other night. i'm giving a contribution. >> mark halpern that, is the fastest i've seen a guy stuffed at the basket there. karl rove, the architect of the bush machine is now admitting he was wrong within, what, 24 hours. he's been croaked here. what's going on here? can karl rove speak anymore or in the republican party, must you obey the tea party now? >> well, let's try to break down what his objection and some other -- a lot of other prominent republicans were worried about if she became the nominee. they're not saying her views are too extreme. karl made clear in that first interview. he thinks that her views are fine. they're worried about two things. they're worried about the personal baggage she has and what they believe the character problem will make her unelectable.
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they don't want as a matter of real polit eke too lose the seat, the problem is a more cultural one. there are people in the tea party whose attitude is if someone is against the establishment, we're for them. if anybody criticizes them, they're criticizing the heart and soul of the movement. that is a cultural and kind of psychological problem that i think karl misplayed and it will be a challenge for the republican party. i don't think between now and the midterms but certainly beyond in governing and then looking towards the president. >> what is the cultural problem of karl rove? let's kind of continue this cycle babble on both sides. why is an establishment figure like karl rove who makes money doing this, talking about politics, why is he so angry at her for winning? she wins the nomination. at that moment he should have been supportive of her. what did anybody gain from her -- him dumping on her after she won? that's what i don't get. >> it was a mistake. i think -- and karl basically said this in an interview, karl is an analyst for fox news. he was wearing his hat that's about zeros and ones. are we going to win the seat or not?
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his point is we just failed to nominate someone who would definitely win the seat. democrats were going to give up on that race. now we've nominated someone who almost definitely from karl's point of view will lose the seat. i think he was being an analyst rather than doing what he should have done, which is to say, she won, isn't it great? a new young voice in the party even if that doesn't mean she thought she could win. >> in my favorite movie, "the arabs win" and we're all rooting for them. although we have turned today, beating the turks. they all get to damascus. the minute they get to damascus they start to fight each other for knives. i mean they haven't won yet. it's not november yet. they're already fighting with each other. >> the republicans are falling apart to victory. you know it's a funny kind of thing. the thing, is i actually disagree with mark. when you look at the first interview that rove did, there was more than just analyst there's. it wasn't just him saying -- >> why's he angry? >> he's angry because he's a professional. he does this for a living. i likes winning elections. he sees someone like her as an amateur. if you look at that first
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interview, there was something denigrating in the voice. >> by the way, those are the tea party people who love to hate. the big shots telling them they're amateurs even though they're voters. >> he talked about her character issues, you know, things she -- nutty things that she said. i think someone like rove, he doesn't want a republican like that, even if there were no character issues. doesn't want a republican like that running in delaware. because he wants to win elections. >> so she's fair game? >> yeah. until he wins -- 24 hours of getting whacked. >> let's go to congressman mike castle. he lays blame for him loss to radio. here he is nailing who he thinks are the bad guys i love this fight. it's a circular firing squad on the right. let's listen. >> i think the misrepresentations of the lies of shawn hannity and rush limbaugh on the air were another significant part of all of this. i think some of the misrepresentations in my opponent's race were part of it as well. >> that's what it takes for a
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republican to tell the truth about the radio boys. just think about it, the radio boys. think about it, mark, you don't say a word against the guys with the microphone until you lose. >> who are the two other people in the party who told the truth along the lines of mike castle. senator bennett who lost the race in utah and then talked about the dangers to the tea party. congressman english in south carolina. both of them, incumbents. lost the nomination fights. they have spoken out in a way different than everybody else. the republican party is lucky. what's animating the tea party, talking about the economy and spending in washington, is the exact issue that is the winning issue for the mainstream party, the establishment party. as long as they can be talking about that, then they're fine. that's why what carl did and what other remembers did in criticizing o'donnell was a huge mistake. it created all this dialogue about a fight within the republican party rather than the president's record on the economy. >> you know, this looks like a fight. tell me if i'm wrong. you know your stuff, josh. you do. i respect you a lot. if you look forward now just
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project this writ large, to use a fancy expression, mike castle versus christine o'donnell. mitt romney versus sarah palin. who is going to say this is really important to the presidency? i wouldn't want one of us being president? at what point are the big shots going to say you're not clean enough or sophisticated enough to be the leaders. we'll take your votes. but none of you is going to get to be president. at what point does that clash occur? >> i think what's going to happen is you'll see this fight take place in 2011. and if 2011 goes like 1995 went -- >> you mean the run-up? >> the radicals discredited themselves with government shutdowns and this kind of stuff, when you goat 2012. it will make a difference. >> but who is going to run? oh, absolutely. who is actually going to make it. >> mark, when is this going to happen? when are we going to see the castle versus o'donnell race between palin and -- it looks like the tea parents have already written off mitt romney. he was the stalking horse for obama. they're already nailing the guy. they're getting help, by the way, of who's going after -- oh, pawlenti is saying you're one of the rhinos.
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>> well, look, chris there is a cleve right now. there are seven people that can be the republican nominee. you have three people who are employees of fox, palin and begin rish and huckabee. then you have four governors, pawlenti, romney, daniels of indiana and haley barbour of mississippi. the four establishment figures all are going to have to starting now figure out how they deal with the tea party movement. and they're going to have to approach this race in a way that gathers the energy of the tea party movement, the way they need it but doesn't alienate the center. it's very analogous, chris, before we get all apocalyptic about it to what republicans had to do in say 1996 with bob dole and the christian coalition and the evangelical movement. >> that worked out well, didn't it? >> but dole got the support. of ralph reed. >> yeah, 41%. the general. >> because he didn't do a good job of knitting it together. but his problem -- >> because he didn't believe a word of the right wing crap. he thought this supply side
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stuff was a joke. he told endless jokes about it before he got the nomination and then he to pretend he believed it. nobody believed he believed it. >> that's why -- >> he discredited himself to that point by a great degree. do you think romney is a credible tea party leader? >> i think that's a big challenge for all of them. and he culturally and i think in terms of performance, it's a real challenge for him. but he was the first out of the gate of the seven people i named as far as i know to endorse o'donnell. and i think you're going to see him. because he's been very nimble this year. more nimble than people give him credit for in figuring out the right ways to try to build the bridges. but you're not going to beat president obama if you're a tea party candidate. when i talk to people around the president, the thing that gives them the most optimism about the long-term political future of the president is they believe it is inevitable that the tea party will either nominate one of their own as the candidate to that the person who wins will be so beholden to the tea party that they'll lose 40 states. >> why doesn't the president
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begin to attack through his people? they're afraid that she can beat them in the end? >> good question. >> that's what johnson did to nixon. build them up. >> look at how well that worked out. >> it didn't work out too well. johnson had to leave and nixon won. >> be careful for what you wish for. >> i love talking to people who know their history. so do we agree the fight has begun between the regular republican party and the zoo stream, if you will, as they would see it. your thoughts, mark? that's the way they look at them. they look at them as the slow kids in the class. that's their view of them. >> there is a -- there is a cultural and psychological divide that i think they will not bridge perfectly. they'll bridge enough to do smashingly well in the midterms. the peril for them is if they don't have leaders who can negotiate not just for 2012 but how to govern as part of a co-equal branch where they'll number the majority, that's a real challenge. and right now, all they do, for the most part, is cast out to the tea party. that is not a recipe for long-term success. >> can they get support of people they look down on?
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castle looks down on christine o'donnell. there is no doubt about it. >> what is really the most telling thing for me is the way they have rolled big -- not just establishment, but people who are the conservatives. it's not just the mike castles. un it's karl roves. >> you know, they go after her for not having a college degree. every time we look at a poll, you can tell who is going to win. the people without college degrees tend to win. thank you. up next, if the new republicans gain control of congress, will they force another government shutdown? by the way, how wild will it get if the tea partiers come in and takeover the united states government in effect because they could if they win enough seats this november. you're watching "hardball." boss: and now i'll turn it over to the gecko. gecko: ah, thank you, sir. as we all know, geico has been saving people
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welcome back to "hardball." if the tea party candidates help republicans take control of congress this november, their goal was to force another government shutdown, some say, and push for investigation after investigation. to take down president obama. earl lewis is with "the new york daily news." this is serious business. the people heading for congress right now, some of them, on the fringe, you might argue, are intending to get in there to not just vote for lower spending or taxes or maybe even the challenge some of the agenda of the president. they want to croak it. they want to take down, take down the president, beginning with his health care plan. kill it. in its crib. >> the thing we could all -- need to hope for, i think, regardless of your ideology, is
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that some adult supervision will prevail and the more radical proposals like opening up the 14th amendment and tinkering around with it or trying to undue health care and going after social security aren't really going to happen. >> what makes you think that would happen? you're calling them the adults. aren't the adults cheering on the radicals? >> i don't think so. the republican senatorial committee has endorsed eight losing candidates. the tea party has been cleaning their clocks. they're a little bit baffled. they're trying to figure out what to do. >> but now they have a new board of directors, the ones running them now are the ones they tried to beat. >> hostile takeover. >> well said. here's republican congressman lynn west from georgia gleefully talking about a government shutdown. let's listen. >> if government shuts down, we want you with us. what has happened in this country. we have put band aids on some things that need to be cleaned out. it's going to take some pain for us to do the things that we got
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to do to right the ship. >> ann, it seems that a lot of people don't remember how messy it got back under newt gingrich and bill clinton when the government did shut down. i guess they're not worried about the libraries being closed or museums. i guess that is not too much of a threat to some of these people. >> well, it seems like a government shutdown is the kind of thing that sounds pretty good on the campaign trail, especially when democrats control everything to go in. to embrace the party of no. to say they're going to stop it. they're going to reverse the obama era. this is obviously what this is right but you are right i think a little bit of amnesia. it is interesting to see that dick morris saying that it may be in the offing if republicans took over. that didn't work for republicans back in the '90s. it worked in the short term. it seemed -- they seem to be blocking clinton. but in the end, they lost. so i think that it would be probably different if they did take over. i think once you're in office, there's a different imperative to do something. i think even if it were a short term gain from republicans, if they did, for example, take over
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the house, were able to shut down the government and that's not to say they would even do so given that boehner said that is not on his agenda. i think that would lay tricky groundwork for whoever the presidential conditioned date is to say, okay, fine, you're in charge of the house. what would do you as president? >> speaking of groundwork, why was that dick morris had to quick working for bill clinton. what was that, something to do with ground works, toes in >> let's not go there. >> joe miller of alaska says he supports a government shutdown. now he's the new kid on the black. he beat murkowski. let's listen to him. >> but out of the gate, joe, what do you start with? health care? >> oh, absolutely. defund it. i mean, a bill would be perfect but obviously that would get vetoed. so defund everything. get rid of the socialist aspects of government, not just in health care but the other entitlement areas that are going to drive us into insolvency. >> of course, you're going to
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have a president that's going to veto anything if there is a republican congress. >> well, you've got fund it. congress has to have an affirmative vote to do it. so that's a good start point. >> so starve them of the funds? starve the veto, so to speak. >> absolutely. and have the courage to shut down the government if we have to. >> earl this is a sophisticated guy. here's yale law. he speaks like a guy who knows what he's doing. he's not saying gee whiz, i'd like to stop the government. get i received health care. he's got a plan. >> even smart people can overplay their hands, like f.d.r. did. >> he has an agenda of a smart guy going to win the general in alaska and the goal and promise back to alaska, i'm going to good in there and kill health care in its crib. >> all on paper it probably makes sense and probably test well in the polls. but what he would soon find out if he actually tried something like that is you've got the independents 40% of the vote. they're swinging back and forth like a pendulum. they don't trust either of the parties. they're willing to change and change at a moment's notice. they abandoned obama at least temporarily. what they would find if they tried that stuff is they would be swinging the other way. >> you're being skeptical.
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anne cornblut. you cover the congress. let me ask you this about darrell isa. he's on the reform committee. he is exactly where he has to be if he's new chair of that committee. they go after what -- here he is with savannah guthrie, our colleague, asking congressman isa what he'll do if he gets subpoena power which is the power to call before that committee, anybody wants, dig anything that he wants to do to bring down in administration. let's listen. >> some people said you're the man, the white house most fears. is that fair? and what do they have to fear? >> every administration, once they become the administration, become somewhat imperial and insular and not just on behalf of you know people working in the white house. but it spreads into the cabinet positions. suddenly, every problem the inherited, they want to blame the predecessor but they don't want you looking to see if the change will work. whether if you will a change that you can believe in. that's the part with this president. he promised change. he promised transparency. now he has cabinet officers
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saying, you know, please i don't want to respond to this. let me just handle it. >> well that, was a long way around. that wasn't the most perfect bite of his commitment. i heard him many times say i'm going to use the subpoena power and nail these guys. on issues like whether joe sestak was promised a job if he didn't run for the senate. things around the edges of the law that might be worthy of a investigation he's going for the kill. >> or the bp oil spill. and if they do take over, you can envision a really long list of things they would want to investigate or have oversight on. but, you know, if you took the exact words that you just played of his and you flipped it to three years ago and it were democrats saying that they were going to do that for over republicans to have oversight, sorry, rather four years ago, to have oversight over republicans, there were a lot of democrats that were really hungry for that. i think that's one of the reasons you see voters saying, you know what? checks and balances. there are a lot of democrats in control right now. we want oversight. i think although there will be democrats who will fear what kind of wrath he might unleash if he were able to call the investigations, have subpoena
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power, i think for independents and republicans, that may be a welcomed change. >> i think he can discriminate between the fire brigade and the fire here. some people believe using the government to get things done. some would like to jam up the works by endless investigations like the republican party that came in after world war ii. they caught one real live one. but they were out there holding a probe out there every day on somebody. >> that's right. and in the long run, sooner or later richard nixon actually rode that pretty far. but, no, i think we're going to find out what the real appetite is for this stuff. you have a mix of pragmatists and pure ideologues. and there will be a tussle among them. but assume to win control of the house and we still got about 47 days. it's not really a done deal yet. >> what went wrong last time, earl? let's talk about this now. the republican came back in in '94. barnstorm their way in the door. they said we're going to do stuff much they stomped down the government. >> that's right. that's right. and the bitterness that continues to this day was the seeds were really planted there.
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i mean these are the same -- ended up being the same congress that impeached the president. and many people after losing did it during the rump session. horrible behavior. >> i think we helped the voters see what they're choosing between, democrats of the progressive party to the centrist party, somewhere in that continuum depending on what they can do. and the republican party, somewhere between conservative government and we're seeing here quite radical. up next rush limbaugh gets it wrong again. "the sideshow's" next. you're watching "hardball." you hear what they're up to now? some in congress are getting squeezed by the special interests again. trying to delay action and give polluters free reign to keep dumping toxic pollution into the air. the air our children breathe. letting big oil lobbyists get their way again, and again, and again. it's a last-minute bill, written by special interests, looking for a payback. washington politicians need to get off the dime,
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[ dialing ] ♪ back to "hardball." now to "the sideshow." first tonight a rush to judgment. down in florida, federal district court judge vincent presiding over a legal challenge to the health care bill.
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here's what rush had to say about vincent on his tuesday program. >> clyde roger vincent is an avid hunter. he's an amateur taxidermist. do you know what a taxidermist is? that's right. for our liberal caller today, a taxidermist stuffs dead game. after a 2002 hunting trip during which he killed three brown bears, judge clyde roger vincent had their heads mounted over the door through which defendants have to pass to enter his courtroom. at the time judge vincent said the sight of the severed bear heads would instill ray a fear of god into the accused. >> judge vincent sounds like a tough no-nonsense conservative. right? guess what? judge vincent isn't a taxidermist. in fact, he hasn't killed a bear, ever. according to the camilleian society.
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he is a plant or flower guy. so where did rush get this portrait of a gun toting, animal hunting judge? "the new york times" reports today that the mix-up apparently came from a hoax on vincent's wikipedia page. they insist it came from the pensacola news journal. the editor says such material was never, ever published. rush reports, you decide. by the way, that shirt of his -- next, sarah palin's campaign. 101. last night on "the o'reilly factor" the ex-governor gave christine o'donnell pointers on handling the media. take a listen. >> look, miss o'donnell could be on here tonight. could be presenting herself in front of the nation. her peoples don't want her to be. because this is -- >> okay. i grant you that. no, i grant you that. she's going to have to learn very quickly to dismiss what some of her handlers want. remember what happened to me in the vp -- remember i used to have to sneak in my phone calls to you guys. >> i remember getting a call from you at 11:30 on a sunday night.
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i thought it was a prank call. absolutely. i know. i know exactly what you're talking about. >> she's going to have to learn that very quickly. she's going to have to dismiss that. go with her gut. get out there, speak to the american people. speak through fox news and let the independents who are tuning in to you, let them know what it is she stands for. >> wow. governor palin, you're welcome any time to come on "hardball," you know, you like it. you bet you. now to tonight's big number. new york attorney carl paladinno is sending out mailers. like this one, slamming what he calls the stink of corruption in albany. old message, right? what's different about this, it actually smells. the mailers have actually been scented with a landfill odor. how many new yorker families got the momentoes? 200,000. the smell is supposed to get worse over time. he has an odd way of endearing himself to voters. 200,000 new york homes get garbage scented mail from him. tonight's hold your nose big number. up next, democrats can do better than expect philadelphia
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the beef well have intersected. my. one driver was killed when a thunderstorm. police in washington state say haven't applied acid accident was apparently a self inflicted hoax the senate broke through . the senate broke through months of partisan gridlock to approve a $30 billion small business aid bill. supporters say the package of
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tax breaks and hiring incentives should help create about 500,000 new jobs. meanwhile the census bureau says 1 in 7 americans are now living in poverty. the increase from 13% in 2008 to 14% this year was actually not as large as economists were predicting. finally hurricane karl is picking up steam as it moves across the gulf of mexico. and hurricane igor is a powerful storm heading towards bermuda. welcome back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." two new polls out today give us new clues about the midterm elections, now just 47 days away. for more on the numbers, let's bring in our nbc political analyst charlie cook and the great nate silver. gentlemen, let's talk about these numbers. the mood of the country, "the new york times"/cbs news poll
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shows 55% say it's time for a new person to represent them in the house of representatives. just 34% say their member deserves re-election. 55% say dump the guy or woman. the politico's battleground poll shows now. an even split in the congressional ballot. i don't know if i believe this. 43% for each of the parties, democrat and republican. but the perception of a republican wave looks to have taken over. 45% now expect republicans to have the house majority next year. 46% another plurality expect to grab in the senate. charlie. let me start with the first poll. do you believe that more than half the country is ready to dump its member of congress? anti-establishment mood out there. no question about it. but when you go through and you look through, say the 435 house races around the country, there's not more than two or three republican incumbents in the whole country that are in any real danger at all. two out of three of those are in
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enemy territory districts like new orleans and hawaii. >> yeah. >> if there were an anti- -- and you look at all these primaries, where you've seen incumbents or establishment figures upset with exception of an alabama republican gubernatorial runoff, every one of them they've lost to someone more conservative than they are. i would argue there's an ideological purging that is not so much anti-incumbency in these republican primaries. >> that's a gutsy statement and i like it. nate? we like to say anti-incumbent. because it sounds so beautifully nonpartisan but if you look at evidence here the shift is to the right. >> part of it, too, all the swing seats, the democrats now occupy because of 2006 and 2008. right. you don't have that many good test cases where you had a vulnerable republican incumbent. you know, if voinovich hadn't retired in ohio, for example, maybe he'd be in some trouble. we don't know. they got out early, right? and i think they're help by having new faces in there. >> charlie, i've heard for a while from different experts if you ask a person who you think is going to win, you're really asking them who you're going to vote for in a lot of ways. it's a filler question.
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the strong plurality that says they think the senate and the house are going republican, does that tell that you people who normally are going to vote democrat even if they're independents are probably going to vote republican because they know how they're going to vote, that's why they think it's going to go to the republicans? >> i'm not fond of the handicapping questions where you ask people who do you think is going to win? most people out there have real lives and not trying to compete with nate or with me or anybody else. i don't know that those questions mean a whole lot. but when you ask them, you know, are you -- when you look at that right direction, wrong track question that you run a lot, you know, you find 30% right direction, 60% wrong track, that's a danger on the old "lost in space" show. >> you sound, charlie, i'll reading through your tea leaves tonight and listening to your tone. you're probably more pronounced tonight than you've been before about the direction of this election. i think you have a stronger take on it. what is it? >> chris, i -- you and i have known each other since 1982. i've stuck my fat rear end out
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real far on this one. i'm just not seeing any evidence that i need to climb in off the end of the limb. i'm just, you know, if you see me backing and filling, i mean i'll do it if i think that the election is changing. man, i don't see it. >> i agree with you. i think christine o'donnell tonight was a sheer recent given bit of evidence that this country is going right and angry it's going to go righter every week. let's take a look. the tax cut issue. this is a hot one. "the new york times"/cbs poll show that 53% of the people support the president's decision to deny the tax cut extension to the rich people, basically. roughly 3 out of 4 of course want the tax cut for the people who make less than $7500,000. guess why? well, that's them. they find republicans with a big advantage in taxes, deficit and spending. we have the people saying they support the president's position, nate. but generally, i've always believed this, you say taxes, makes people think republican. you take big spending, oh, i don't like those democrats. >> it's unfamiliar issue for democrats to try to win votes on i think. it speaks to the fact they don't
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have a lot else going for them really. this is the best of a weak lot. >> you mean pushing for tax fairness or helping out the middle at the expense of the rich is probably the best thing that they have to argue on. >> they do. they're not willing to run on health care. they don't want to talk about financial reform. >> you don't think it's a big winner? >> i think it's kind of more technical, right. you might win a few seats. >> charlie, do you think the person that makes -- combined income of $100,000, $150,000 and the husband and wife both work hard and been making up to $150,000, do you think they're they're in the mood to blame the people that make $250,000. >> you know, most people, the vast majority are not rich but they sure as heck would like to be there and like it not all taken away from them if they got there. i'm not seeing that sentiment out there. and it depends on how you word it. >> i agree. >> now the thing is fit gets
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down to a do you think it's worth blowing the budget out by x to do -- i mean, democrats, nothing else has worked. they may as well try this. nothing's worked in a year and a half. they may as well try this. >> you said in a little personal form do you want your tax cut extend or not? they're going to check, yes. >> oh, yeah. >> they're not going to sit and worry about the rich or poor or anybody else or what the government's spending level is. they're going to say i want my tax cut continued. nate? >> there are studies that people say you're rich if you make three times more than they make. so that's why $250,000, only people making $80,000 or more, so these numbers are calibrated very carefully. president obama says $250 thou is where we're going to set the threshold. but, you know, also you've had people that are rich that do donate a lot to campaigns and maybe in campaigns here in the northeast where you have a lot of, frankly, wealthy people. it may not help democrats as much as in the midwest. >> charlie, who wins if the tax cut doesn't go through? if people are stuck paying hire taxes next january. does that help the democrats or republicans?
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>> some day in my life we may see democrats win a tax argument. but i hadn't seen it yet. >> well said. let's go to president obama. politico's battleground poll. he's at 55% approve of him personally. but just 45% of the job he's doing. a lot of people say that says he's got a reservoir, a reserve of popular feeling toward him. and he can get his act together by next term. a year, a year and a half he could win this thing. your naughts on that charlie? in other words, the sentiment hasn't turned against him. >> the thing is, that number is a little different. we've seen some nbc/"wall street journal" polls that showed his personal rating and his job approval rating pretty closely -- close together. it used to be a big gulf. at least in the polling i'm seeing not so much. i don't know if that wide gap is out there. but you tell me what the unemployment rate's like in 2012 and what's going on in afghanistan and i'll tell you whether he's going to get re-elected or not. >> the sentiment doesn't matter then? expressed sentiment? >> i think fundamentals matter. >> nate, personal regard. because i think that personal regard played a big part in his
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election, more than most candidates. people love him, his upbringing, the way he made it, the way he spoke, how he presented himself. i like the cut of this guy. >> especially for unlikely voters, people who don't always turn out. they're not going to turn out this year, necessarily. you can make a very good case, democrats will have a comeback at some point before 2012. but one thing that might necessitate that is having lost a lot of seats this year. a lot of the arguments about boehner seems preemptive toward 2012 when he probably will be not for sure majority leader. >> that is a pretty pathetic strategy. blaming the other guy. if you're in charge, you ought to be running the country. i think the democrats should run the country if they want to run the country and not blame the other side. thank you. nightone the bright guys around. charlie cook as always one of the bright guys around. up next, you've heard all the trash talk about president obama from gingrich and how he's a kenyan anti-colonial type. although i thought america was anti-colonial. have we forgotten? any republican that says stop talking like this this tribal talk, stop it.
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that's next on "hardball." ♪ [ male announcer ] at ge capital, we're out there every day with clients like jetblue -- financing their fleet, sharing our expertise, and working with people who are changing the face of business in america. after 25 years in the aviation business, i kind of feel like if you're not having fun at what you do, then you've got the wrong job. my landing was better than yours. no, it wasn't. yes, it was. was not. yes, it was. what do you think? take one of the big ones out? nah.
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we're back. the republicans are feeling a little giddy out there about their chances to take the house majority this november. and john boehner the next speaker of the house. we're joined by the last republican speaker of the house, dennis hastert. god, you're skinny, sir. what have you been doing? >> i've never been skinny in my life, chris. >> what happened to that big wrestling coach i used to know. >> i'm getting down to weight. >> let me ask you about newt gingrich. i could never quite figured out your view of this character. newt gingrich talks like he is a tribal leader somewhere. the president talking about a kenyan, a third worlder. he is calling him an anti-colonial. here's what he said, what if obama is so outside our comprehension that only if you understand kenyan anti-colonial behavior can you begin to piece together his actions? that's the most accurate predictive model -- in other words, if we're going to predict the speaker of the house, we should think of him as a kenyan chief or what? what kind of talk is that from
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an american politician? >> look, i'm going to leave it up to newt to do the philosophical theories on politics. look at one of the problems with obama, he just hasn't been effective. he needs to focus on jobs. that's what the american people are worried about. he hasn't been able to do that. he spent too much money. >> why don't republicans focus on jobs instead of on his tribal nature? why are republicans -- you have a good case about jobs. >> you're talking about one republican, come on. >> newt was your speaker. you used to obey this guy. he was your chief. if we want to get into african talk here. he was your chief. you know? and now you're saying you don't know the guy's name. >> i also succeeded him. >> why? anyway, let me ask you about your party. i have a theory, and i want you to tell me about it, back in the area 60s the democrats were mad at the vietnam war. as you know. and they had to back president johnson because he is a democrat and made him very frustrated. and even bitter. so the time dick nixon got into
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office, they say now it's my chance to explode about how much we hate the vietnam war. take the issue of spending in the same regard. under the republicans under george w. bush the guy didn't veto a single spending bill. the republicans felt like they'd blown their record, his fiscal responsibility people, so now they're taking it out on obama. it's a delayed response of anger. that's my theory. >> i don't agree. you got a theory. newt has a theory here. i are a theory too. i think in '74 people were upset with the watergate thing and they threw nixon out and they threw republicans out p that's why they were upset. and i think in '94, there had been a huge -- under the clinton administration, been a tax increase. they'd been a tax -- >> who got their taxes increased in '93, '94? >> senior citizens on medicare. >> oh on medicare. >> big time. >> right. >> right. >> you guys, unbelievable. if any tax increase that effects everybody and i know how it works for you guys. let me ask you this. why are republicans all of a sudden into fiscal responsibility again when they weren't under bush? >> well you know they were under
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bush. i was there. >> how many bills did he veto? how many bills veto? >> we didn't give him any bills to veto because we cut them down. >> doubled the national debt. >> no paid down $550 billion in public debts. the first time that ever happened. a war, a two-front war and we had 9/11. >> yeah, okay. 9/11 is your middle part of every sentence. i understand it. i get it. in other words, 9/11's the reason -- >> come on, chris. >> for the national debt. you doubled the national debt. >> look it and now a war. >> and now you're blaming the democrats, i'm sorry. >> no, i didn't blame the democrats. i said we had a war and we had 9/11. >> okay, let's talk about john boehner. you know a lot of people are kidding to him about smoking. i think that's his decision. maybe it's a bad one but it's his decision. he looks like a golfer that just blew a putt. he's never happy. do you have to be happy a little bit to be a leader of the political party and not always looked ticked off like boehner? >> look i think a lot of talent in the political party.
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boehner's served a long time there. he came in a little bit after i did. he was in leadership under newt. and came back in leadership when he knocked out roy blunt. so i think he thinks probably it's turn to be speaker but i think a lot of good, young people who will be the majority leaders and other things as well. soap you can't -- you can't -- you are to look at whole party. >> you know it's funny about the difference between republican party, you've been challenging all of my theories, hastert, mr. speaker, and you're fully entitled to. >> this is "hardball." >> i know. here's my theory the democrats kill their wounded. you're gone. if you're john kerry and lose by one state you're gone. if you're the dukakis forget about it, jimmy carter forget it. in in your party if you win an election they run you next time. i can see mitt romney being your party nominee next time. bob dole. nixon ran five times. in other words, boehner you said it's his turn, that's so
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republican, to say, it's his turn. that's how you guys think. >> you know i think -- i said, i said, i think boehner thinks it's his turn. >> oh, iy. >> so we'll see what happens. >> is that -- is it romney's turn? >> you know, look it, i'm not -- i'm not in that race. we'll see. we've got good candidates too. >> but you like romney, don't you? >> sure i like romney. i like the governor from indiana. i like the governor from miss. >> i you're so regular. let me ask you, mr. speaker. mitt romney instigated, if you will, health care in massachusetts. a lot of the tea party say he started the obama thing. he was a stalking horse for socialized medicine in massachusetts. how can you run him against obama? >> look it, i'm not sure if romney's going to be the candidate. >> he's your candidate. >> well, he also did a lot of good things. well, you know, he left massachusetts with a rainy day fund. never happened before. he also did some things through sheer force through personalities rescued the 2000 olympics in utah. >> that's true.
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>> which were going down the hill. and he's been a force of 500 guys. >> but not anymore, you've dropped him. >> i haven't say. i haven't dropped him. haven't made a decision yet. >> you're not with him anymore. thank you hastert, mr. speaker, welcome back to the fight. it's great to have you on. >> hey, my pleasure, great to be with you. >> if this is a pleasure we can do better. the most political event happening right now. you're watching "hardball." ♪
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let me finish tonight with perhaps the most important political event happening right now. i'm referring to the peace talk, the middle east. if we get peace over there, if we settle this conflict between israel and the palestinians, if we get a two-state solution that protects israel's security and also gives national respect to the palestinians it could have historic benefits for our own country. i say it often, the real battle between east and west is takes place over the cafe tables of cairo and damascus and imman. they're the young people the arab world who are discussing and deciding their futures. do they want to study engineers here and in universities like michigan state or do they sympathize with our violent enemies? we've got win that argument. and one powerful way do it is to reclaim the peacekeeping role we've played over years in the middle east. secretary of state hillary clinton and former senator george mitchell. secretary clinton's a top american politician with a record of both strong support for israel and strong support for a peace agreement. as she has noted, she's the first american leader to publicly advocate a palestinian
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state alongside a jewish state. she took some heat for it at home. but there it is. george mitchell managed to negotiate peace between the nationalists and the union sides in northern ireland a brutal undertaking that he champions courageously and relentlessly to its positive conclusion. israel has a strong leader in b.b. netanyahu. abbas said no alternative of the talks overway. a deal over jerusalem, over the terrestrial border, over security, a palestinian country which can truly take its place in the region, if israel can free it was of the moral and religious burden of the millions who wish that autonomy there will be a pair of of winners in that region and we, american, will be relieved of the endless antipathy of a billion islamic people who see as hostile. and antipathy has been such a powerful weapon in the hands of our enemies. as i said the most important politics for our country right now is taking pl

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